Trinity College Library / The Long Room
Trinity College is the oldest university in Ireland.
Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, the College is in an enviable position in the very heart of Ireland's capital.
Trinity College on its 40-acre site retains some of its ancient seclusion of cobbled squares, gardens and parks.
The College is famed for the great treasures. These include the Book of Kells, a 9th century illuminated manuscript, the Books of Durrow and Armagh and an early Irish harp. These are displayed in the Treasury and the Long Room which houses over 200,000 of Trinity's oldest books.
The Book of Kells Turning Darkness into Light explains the background of the story famous gospel manuscript and other related manuscripts.
Temporary exhibitions in the Long Room display the rich holdings of the library and encourage research.
The main chamber of the Old Library is the Long Room, and at nearly 65 metres in length, it is filled with 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books. When built (between 1712 and 1732) it had a flat plaster ceiling and shelving for books was on the lower level only, with an open gallery. By the 1850s these shelves had become completely full; largely as since 1801 the Library had been given the right to claim a free copy of every book published in Britain and Ireland. In 1860 the roof was raised to allow construction of the present barrel-vaulted ceiling and upper gallery bookcases.
Other treasures in the Long Room include one of the few remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic which was read outside the General Post Office on 24 April 1916 by Patrick Pearse at the start of the Easter Rising. The harp is the oldest of its kind in Ireland and probably dates from the 15th century. It is made of oak and willow with 29 brass strings. It is the model for the emblem of Ireland.
The band of gold lettering below the gallery commemorates benefactors of the 17th and 18th centuries:
- James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh
- King Charles II
- William Palliser, Archbishop of Cashel
- Claudius Gilbert
- Theophilius Butler
Find out more about Literary Dublin with our Literary Insider Guide.
How to Get There:
All cross-city buses.
Family Ticket: €18
Under 12 years old Free.
Monday - Saturday 09:30 - 17:00
Sunday (May - September) 09:30 - 16:30
Sunday (October - April) 12:00 - 16:30